Does Media Influence Young Adults/Children?

Media is a means of communication. When humans communicate, they produce and exchange information and meaning using signs and symbols. Communication takes place at different levels such as societal level, organizational, group and individual levels. The processes of communication include information which is encoded, transmitted and decoded.

Communication Dimensions

The dimensions of communication include the sender (the one who encodes and transmits), the message (the content), the channel (the medium through which the content is transmitted), the receiver (who decodes meaning) and the effect. Communication is based on the idea of interaction. Effects may come both ways from senders and receivers through various kinds of feedback and impact. As far as effects are concerned, we should mention that media effects at the individual level, and children are the receiver of the message transmitted by the sender which is the media.

Communication takes place at a macro level, especially at the mass media level. In this way, the mass media cuts across individuals, groups and societies. A weak point is that people can be manipulated by means of mass media. But mass media can have a positive effect upon people by improving their health.

Media Impact

Media influences population and individual health in a positive or negative way. For example, mass media shouldn’t market unhealthy products such as cigarettes or unhealthy food for children. Media can also be helpful in promoting healthy behaviors. However, we should also be aware that it has a negative effect on children’s behavior. Therefore, media has a great impact upon children’s social, emotional as well as physical development. There are certain types of media that influences young adults and children in a negative way:

  • Watching a lot of TV might lead to small vocabulary and lower test scores in school.
  • Watching TV or sitting in front of the computer might lead to obesity.
  • Commercials are made for the children who might ask their parents to buy the products.
  • Media children are exposed to do not show a realistic perspective on characters that appear on TV.
  • Media might teach the children that violence is acceptable.

Media has positive effects as well. In the future, researchers should take into account the application of media studies theory in health. There should be a national media campaign in public health, and health disparities should be eliminated. With the help of media, children and young adults should have access to education, medication and information.


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